British Library Workshopping

On 27th June, 18 extended project qualification students visited the British Library in London thanks to a grant from QMC Foundation, where they took part in two dedicated workshops.

In the morning there was a self-guided tour of an exhibition – ‘Writing: Making Your Mark’ – a history of writing from the first “marks” of straw in clay (baked in the sun) 5,000 years ago up to the present day.

After lunch, the students took part in a 90-minute workshop entitled ‘Research Matters’. Taking part in a range of creative activities, the students learned to develop their critical thinking skills and were encouraged to reflect on their own research processes.

This was in interesting session, giving the students tools and ideas to ‘think outside the box’ and ask the right questions when starting their research.

A second group of English literature students also visited the library on 5th July for two workshops. The first was the self-guided tour – ‘Writing: Making Your Mark’ – with an afternoon workshop on ‘Literature in context’.

This involved searching the British Library online catalogue to evaluate the influence of social, historical and literary context on a variety of written texts.

The Queen Mary’s library was able to organise both trips after a successful bid to the Willis Foundation.

The consensus from students was that they found all the workshops useful and interesting for their own studies and the experience has helped them widen their thoughts on how to approach research, and also consider the context when studying a variety of documents.